Are procrastination and anxiety interlinked?

In the Bible (Proverbs 12:2413:4), the good Lord has condemned laziness and sloth as evil. The Lord commands man to be more diligent in his work and not procrastinate over what can be done with immediate effect. Procrastination and anxiety go hand in hand. When one keeps delaying actions either due to circumstances or self-will, it causes frustration and builds anxiety symptoms. It becomes hard to stop the feelings of fear and restlessness associated with consequences of fulfilling pending tasks unless remedial action is taken on time.

Procrastination means putting off for tomorrow what could be done today. It is a vicious cycle and a procrastinator is never able to complete a task at hand on time. The psychology of procrastination can be understood from the fact that a person often seeks instant gratification. As opposed to the mature, rational-decision maker’s brain, the brain of a procrastinator is so wired that what can be gratified easily assumes more importance than what is to be done on priority.

So, while it is more important for a rational person to complete the project at the scheduled time, a procrastinator will, for a variety of reasons like disinterest, fear of failure, inability to have a concrete plan of action or desire for perfection, unnecessarily dillydally.

Reasons for people with anxiety to procrastinate

Individuals with anxiety disorders procrastinate often. Inherent to their procrastination habit is an undercurrent of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As most people who worry are prone to being obsessed about seemingly minor details, they rarely look at the larger picture. Often this tendency hampers their growth in personal and professional life.

There are a variety of reasons why people with anxiety indulge in this regressive habit of postponing to infinity. A few reasons are provided below:

  • Difficulty in churning out a concrete plan of action

Individuals with anxiety disorders find it hard to churn out a concrete plan of action. They are good with the abstracts, but when it comes to taking the responsibility they simply flounder.

  • Obsession with perfection

In overwhelming large number of cases, people with anxiety procrastinate because of their obsession with perfection. As they desire to put across the best example of their work they often miss the bus.

  • Fear of failure

Those who worry a lot are afraid of failure, ridicule and criticism. People with anxiety are their worst critic. Their obsession with perfection and fear of failure is responsible for their work-avoidance tactics. Unfortunately, this delaying tactic often spirals into self-hate behavior.

Tips for meeting the deadlines

The tendency of people with anxiety disorders to keep delaying things can be attributed to changes in their brain chemistry. The brain is subject to continuous onslaught of the list of tasks to be completed for the day that it gets confused and fearful and ends up doing nothing. But there are ways in which the difficulties that one faces can be easily handled and resolved. Some of these are as follows:

  1. Breaking the task into smaller chunks
  2. Giving oneself small rewards on every task completion
  3. Ensuring that boredom and fatigue do not creep in
  4. Removing the triggers that cause lethargy
  5. Removing roadblocks that get in the way such as social media or too many outgoings
  6. Practicing mindfulness techniques like breathing exercises and meditation
  7. Seeking professional help when things get out of hand

Take action if anxiety persists

Anxiety is a serious illness that affects the overall quality of an individual’s life. Things can get worse when anxious people keep procrastinating tasks and become more anxious when things pile up. The habit comes in the way of achieving one’s full potential. It is essential to recognize the signs and seek help in case the inability to complete tasks at hand turns into negative thoughts and behavior and comes in the way of his/her personal and professional growth.

You can contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to know more about various treatments offered to treat someone with anxiety symptoms. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online for any queries pertaining to anxiety disorders treatment centers in California.

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